Wednesday, December 24, 2008

30-Day Biz Planning Challenge: Some New Modules for 2009

I've laid out a lot of modules for you. I know it can be overwhelming. Please don't feel like you have to do all of them. But as I read other's methods of planning and as I think about the blind spots in my own business, I've created a few new modules I'm thinking of adding to this year's plan.

They're mostly fun stuff.

Consider these:

Monthly/Quarterly Accomplishments
It's been brought to my attention this year that I tend to move the bar on myself: I accomplish something and then my mind clicks over and asks, "You achieved this. So why haven't you achieved that? Clearly, you're a slacker." Most of my colleagues and editors would disagree with that characterization. And while I believe that most successful people are always looking for the next mountain to climb, there's a limit. And there's a difference between ambition and not letting yourself savor your successes.

So taking a cue from Katrina's more laid back approach to planning, I want to add a module that's all about those accomplishments. It would look something like the balance sheet I described in the self-care challenge--only this one would live in an ongoing business planning document I update monthly. I plan to include anything I consider an accomplishment:
  • Meeting an income goal.
  • Adding a new client.
  • Getting better at workflow, cashflow or time management.
  • Attending networking events.
  • Sending X queries.
  • Staying on my marketing goals.
The list goes on, but the point is to create a list and then put it all together at the end of the year for me to examine and--let's face it--bask a little bit.

Who wouldn't want a stipend or a paid trip to learn more about your field. This fits into my goal of advancing my craft--but every time one of these deadlines rolled around this year, I found myself miles deep in files, deadlines and day-to-day minutea. This module will allow me to put together a list of fellowships I want to apply for, their deadlines (or, if they aren't yet announced, when they were due the year before) and what they require.

The next step, then, would be to put them on my calendar with a reminder a month or a few weeks before the deadline so I can put them together.

This fits in with the first module. Accomplishments. Let's celebrate them. But first we have to take time to corral the clip, copy it, address it and figure out when it's due and to whom. So I'd like to spend some quality time with Lovely Lady Google and find the awards I want to track, add them into my calendar, record the address to which they are to be sent and maybe set up a special file on my desk organizer in which to store award-worthy stories until they're due.

How will you plan in your rewards for 2009?

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